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Muddy Intertidal Mangroves and Murky Common Property Theories

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Walters, Bradley B.
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/761
Sector: Forestry
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
forest management
property rights
Abstract: "This paper summarizes research on two coastal sites in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines that are widely recognized and show-cased as success stories in community-based mangrove reforestation and management. Investigations of 12 different coastal villages in these two sites revealed considerable within and between village variation, both in the kind and extent of mangrove planting and management. Property rights regimes in mangroves are complex, conflict-ridden and under continuous negotiation between similar and dissimilar resource users. Nonetheless, the most striking pattern across all sites was a clear historical trend towards privatization of open access and common mangrove lands and resources, by poor and rich mangrove users alike. There are important social dimensions to this. In particular,leadership and imitation profoundly influenced the emergence and spread of management innovations like tree planting. But, the direct role of collective action and common property institutions has been small and there is little evidence of sustained community management of mangrove resources. These findings argue for keeping individual actors and private property central in discussions of common property management. As well, lessons from these cases can be used to inform ongoing mangrove management and restoration efforts elsewhere in the Philippines."

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